Digital artifacts reveal development and diffusion of climate research
Research for development organizations generate tremendous amount of accessible knowledge, but given their scale, time and resource constraints, the impact of outputs is not systematically analyzed. This is because traditional bibliometric analyses present limitations to synthesize accumulated knowledge and retrofitting indicators to historical outputs. To address these shortcomings, this study proposes an integrated, web-based approach to systematically analyze the production and diffusion of knowledge from large-scale research programs, using climate research of the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) as a case study. Our analytical framework employs text mining, social network analysis and hyperlink analysis to an unstructured mass of publicly available digital artifacts such as institutional repositories, citation databases, and social media to uncover narratives, dynamics, and relationships. Findings show CIMMYT’s climate research is strongly incorporated into a holistic systems approach and that the institution is actively engaged in knowledge exchanges with key actors from the scientific, development and public policy communities. The proposed analytical framework establishes an effective approach for research for development organizations to leverage existing online data sources to assess the extent of their knowledge production, dissemination, and reach.